Skip to main content
Open this photo in gallery:

Attendees of the Pacific National Exhibition in Vancouver ride The Beast at the Playland amusement park in 2015. The Beast broke down on Aug. 13, 2019, showering some visitors with oil, though no one was injured.Jeff Vinnick/The Globe and Mail

Visitors to a popular Vancouver amusement park were showered with oil but no one was seriously hurt when a ride known as The Beast broke down on Monday.

Patrons who were aboard the spinning, pendulum-style ride at Playland say it began to shake and make a noise like metal grinding on metal.

Operators safely brought the ride to a stop and helped people off, but McKenna Henderson says the whole event was nerve-wracking.

She says “every second felt like an hour” as she and a friend waited for their turn, and even after the pendulum had stopped, some sort of oil continued to spew and spattered onlookers.

Playland spokeswoman Laura Ballance says it appears a part malfunctioned and an investigation is under way.

She says all rides are inspected daily by the operator as well as annually by Technical Safety BC and third-party safety consultants, and engineers will assess The Beast again once it is repaired to ensure it is safe.

Ms. Henderson says the oil seemed to come from the top of the steeple supporting the swinging arm.

“It was like a shower. It was spraying everywhere – clothing, hair, bags. It got me on my clothing and hair. It was really warm. It appeared green.”

Ms. Ballance says all aspects of the malfunction will be examined and the details will be included in a report.

“With the oil, it’s not ideal, but we will deal with those guests on a case-by-case basis,” she said.

The two-week-long Pacific National Exhibition, which includes the Playland amusement park, opens this weekend.

Ms. Ballance said there is no timeline for repairing, inspecting or reopening The Beast.

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Interact with The Globe